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'Choirs' could crown Philly team tonight

The group of local vocalists led by Patti LaBelle has been getting the lion's share of praise on the show - but will it get the votes?

Or will Philly get stung by Cincinnati, whose Nick Lachey-led troupe performed an adventurous a cappella "Flight of the Bumblebees" last night?

"I thought it created quite a buzz," quipped Michael Bolton, just before learning his New Haven, Conn., group would get the boot.

"I didn't understand a freaking word," said Blake Shelton, whose fellow Oklahomans are also in the three-team race.

Tonight, viewers will find out who wins bragging rights and $250,000 for a home-town charity.

In Philadelphia, that means the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and its With Our Voices outreach program, which promotes cancer detection.

One of the female Philly choir members spoke about having had stage-four non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, before the group sang the first of its two songs, "Jesus Take the Wheel."

LaBelle, who lost three sisters to cancer, said, "We're singing this for people who have cancer and don't know about it."

Team Lachey competed for Children's Hospital of Cincinnati, while Team Shelton had two causes, one to help military families, the other to help victims of disasters, like the recent ice storms that paralyzed Oklahoma.

Last night, the three finalists performed twice by themselves, then again with their stars singing lead.

After the Philly group's second spirited song, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," Shelton, speaking from his competitive heart, said, "I think I speak for all of us when I say …. STOP."

The voting by phone and online ended overnight.

The two-hour finale airs locally on NBC10 starting at 8.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or